Planes are inherently scary places. You put a lot of trust in a flight and 99.9% of the time there is no issue. However, horror movies seem joyful to point out how trapped you become in a plane. Should disease spread you are trapped. Should a dangerous animal manage to get smuggled in to the plane you are trapped. If things get really bad, you are in a bad place as crashing is a scary terrifying option. However, The Strain poses the only other terrifying option. What if the plane does land and whatever disease or creature is inside, gets out.
There is a heavy focus on Ephraim Goodweather, a CDC scientist with a crumbling marriage. He is struggling to recover his family. But his job is a major part of his life and his wife isn’t having it. You really feel for him because while he is a dick at times, he is fight for the things he cherishes most in his life. Ephraim is quickly brought over to the site of the dead plane. It’s been sitting for over an hour with no sign of any life inside. An once he is on site, we get to see him thrive. He knows his job and quickly puts the men in charge of the case in their place describing about how badly things could be inside if everything spread.
We were also introduced to a shop owner, Abraham Setrakian. He is an old man, but he is a bad ass. This is an old man who is so old he doesn’t care about potentially dying that he attacks his attackers. Not long after the attack, he hears the news about the strange plane occurrence that came in from Berlin. Downstairs in his hidden room (that looked and felt like something straight out of the Bioshock Universe), he gets his sword and pronounces the return of a him. All of this said to a still beating heart surrounding by candles that he feeds his blood. The heart is infested by worms that consume the blood in the water.
The time spent on the plane was suitably creepy, but lacked some of the exciting tension that could have been there. Instead the time spent on the plane was less anxiety driven, but more discovery driven. As a result of this, when we started to see movement, twitches of the muscle it served as a suitable shock. It was nice. Suddenly the people that appeared dead arose shocked, by the intrusion and seeking help. Unfortunately, this didn’t provide much of a scare. Not just the people on the plane, reviving, but also our CDC agents, didn’t seem stunned enough.
IT turned out that there were only 4 survivors on the entire plane and the rest were in fact dead. The dead are going to be examined, but that is a cake walk compared to those who survived. The CDC crew is doing their best to figure out this mystery as to what is going on with them. However, the patients aren’t the best help as they can’t remember much of anything. However, a strange hand carved coffin covered in skeletons containing soil. Though, I wanted to scream at our CDC crew for examining this strange box that never should have been on a flight without their hazmat suit. It was a nice touch seeing the latch on the inside.
The horror did reach a high point when we finally saw a good look of the monster. Sure, we didn’t get a perfect view of the whole ugly beast, but we did see the part that mattered. It was a brutal death as not only was his blood sucked, but then had his neck snapped. To add insult to death, the creature stomped the man’s head in. The creature’s movements are unsettling.
Abraham weaseled his way into the airport past security. He was very serious about stopping he who was coming. He was able to reach Jim Kent, another CDC employee. Meanwhile, Ephraim was forced to confront the press. However, answers already began to arise as the coroner found that every patient had a razor sharp incision on their necks and their bodies didn’t have blood. Abraham proved that he knew more than an ordinary bystander, but that wasn’t enough to convince Ephraim that he was anything but crazy. The idea that this is anything supernatural is just not something that Ephraim is currently willing to accept. Nora Martinez seems to take Abraham’s words more seriously and begins to worry about his knowledge of unreleased details.
Ephraim and Nora quickly discover that the disease is worm based and that it favors living in the soil. Unfortunately, the box was gone already. Video footage showed that the 500 pound box was lifted in an instant. It was placed in the van that Gus Elizalde was instructed to drive out of the airport. His exit is halted before he could leave the airport. Turns out that Mr. Kent was also under the pull of the man.
Back at the coroner, more eerie things began to happen as he dissected the dead. After placing a removed heart a noise distracts him. Soon he discovers the worms for himself and manages to pull it out of his skin as it attempted to burrow. Unfortunately, the dead that had been in the the dead a moment before were now walking. And they quickly pounced on our coroner. The entire scene was eerie and fascinating as the tension rose in the scene. You could feel the panic in the coroner despite the happy music of “Sweet Caroline”. The dead want to feed. Our vampires were now ready.We got a moment with the father of the little girl who died on the plane. After is prior outburst over not getting his daughter back, it was fitting that we saw her return home. She was put an eerie looking shell of the cute little girl from before, with red eyes, that blinked in the same way that Thomas Elchorst’s eyes did throughout the episode. She was no longer the little girl that he once knew, but he has yet to see what she has really become. For him all that matter is that his daughter has returned.
One episode in, The Strain shows promise. It isn’t afraid to show us the horror as we saw with the master. In the meantime when the show isn’t dishing out the horror in massive doses, it is a bit more subdued and almost comical in the terrifying portrayals. In short, the show is definitely one that I will be coming back to.
What did you think of the episode?